France set to shoot 18,000 turtle doves this autumn


Barbara Pompili, the French government's new Minister of Ecological Transition, has presented a draft decree that would allow the killing of some 18,000 European Turtle Doves this autumn.

Pompili only assumed the role at the start of July but, on Wednesday [22 July 2020], a directive to allow the hunting of the Threatened species was put up for consultation on the website of the Ministry of Ecology. Despite the decree acknowledging the worrying status of European Turtle Dove, it also lays out the plays to 'take' 17,460 of the birds.

Some 18,000 European Turtle Doves are set to be legally killed in France this autumn (Nick Brown).

In 2015, the IUCN Red List upgraded European Turtle Dove from Least Concern to Vulnerable, on the back of a wretched 78% decline since 1980. In western Europe, the species has suffered a particularly profound range retraction and drop in numbers. France sits on an important migration route for the dove.

To set this quota, the ministry relies on the advice of a committee of experts, who recommended that, temporarily, no European Turtle Doves were shot, in order to maximise the chances of a population stabilisation, or that half the estimated population be killed – some 18,000 birds – which is allegedly 'sustainable' based on demographic models.

One of the first meetings Pompili granted while in her new role was with the president of the French National Federation of Hunters.